Green Work Experience Presents:10 Ways to Green Your Home.Your home sweet home needn't wreak eco-havoc on you or the planet. Whether you like townhouse living, country life, or prefer the burbs, you can green where you roost with energy-efficient appliances, green cleaners, eco-furniture, and more.
1. Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs
If you haven't done so already, now is the time to start. Every light fixture in your home could be 65 to 80 percent more energy efficient with CFLs!
A CFL bulb, also known as a compact fluorescent lamp, compact fluorescent light bulb, or an energy-saving light bulb, is a type of lamp that fits into a standard light bulb socket. Buying a CFL bulb helps because CFL bulbs are significantly more efficient than standard (incandescent) bulbs.
2. Get green electricity or buy RECs
Power up your home appliances and gadgets by powering down. Opt for green electricity generated from clean, renewable sources like the sun and wind. And if that's not an option, go for renewable energy certificates instead.
Choosing clean, green energy—either through your utility company or by purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs)—encourages the growth of eco-friendly power production businesses and helps support further development of renewable energy technologies. The potential expansion of the green energy market is enormous as is the potential for providing thousands of green jobs. An added benefit: increased energy independence, which could lead to greater economic and social security. So plug into the sun, water, wind, or geothermal by opting into your utility’s green power options!
3. Choose ENERGY STAR products
From your windows to your washer, you'll not only cut energy but also your monthly bills with these power-savers.
ENERGY STAR is a joint program between the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) developed to provide buyers with an objective measurement for products with improved energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR products use 10-50 percent less energy compared to standard models, and where applicable, reduce paper and water consumption, too.
4. Install a programmable thermostat
Keep your heating and cooling bills in check by auto-regulating the temp.
By installing a programmable thermostat in your home and keeping your temperature set to a comfortable temperature, you’ll save both energy and money. You'll also reduce your carbon footprint, all without a lot of thought or effort.
5. Install faucet aerators
Stop water, energy, and money from slipping down your drains by installing low-flow aerators on bathroom and kitchen faucets.
Every time you turn on the faucet, much of what pours out probably ends up running down your drain unused (unless, of course, you're zealous about capturing the excess for your houseplants or remember to brush your teeth with the tap off).
Low-flow faucet aerators mix air into your faucet's water stream to limit the amount of water that slips away. And, most do it without any noticeable difference in water pressure. In other words, you get the same steady stream you've come to expect—all while using less water! Installing faucet aerators in your kitchen and bathrooms not only lets you conserve water when you're rinsing off your razor or finishing up those dinner dishes, but less water also means less energy needed to pump it to your house and less energy to heat it once it's there.
6. Install double pane windows
Doubling up on glass keeps heat out in warm months and in during cooler months. You'll cut heating and A/C bills by more than 30 percent.
Double- and triple-pane windows make a home or office more comfortable and more energy-efficient. Cut your heat loss in half by choosing these eco-friendly window options..
7. Clean green
Even if you don't do windows, you can't avoid the occasional need for some elbow grease at home. From floor mopping to sink scrubbing, you'll create a greener, healthier home—and planet—with eco-friendly cleaners.
Standard cleaning products contain chemicals that may affect ecosystems by contaminating soil and groundwater. Alternatively, natural, biodegradable household cleaners break down easily in the environment and rely on natural ingredients that protect the water and wildlife near your home. If you're more into the DIY route, you can also make your own natural cleaners at home.
8. Choose used or secondhand items
Make what's old new again by outfitting your home with pre-owned furniture, appliances, and everything else. You'll save trees and other resources and block useful products from clogging precious landfill space.
Choosing secondhand items conserves valuable resources in a simple, affordable way and reduces landfill waste.
9. Buy low- or no-VOC latex paint
Spice up dingy walls with non-toxic color. These paints keep indoor air pure and outdoor air smog-free.
Buying low- or no-VOC paint may cost more than conventional paint but it will release fewer or no volatile organic compounds (VOC) into your home or office air. VOC create ground-level ozone pollution and carry potential health risks.
10. Buy a certified green home
Whether you're a first-time buyer or in the market to move, keep the earth in mind with a green home of your dreams.
When you buy a certified green home (new or remodeled), you have assurance that you’ll save between 15 and 30 percent on energy bills. Plus, depending on the certification, you also have the satisfaction of knowing that the home reduces greenhouse gas emissions, has healthier indoor air, uses less water, and used fewer natural resources in its construction.